Beyond the obvious and necessary skills to learn and practice there are some additional skills that will always be needed and welcomed in a post catastrophe situation. Everyone will need some that can protect, can build, can provide food, and have medical knowledge to pass on. The problem is that some other aspects of a working society, of course, is that depending on economic circumstances and logistics, even experienced preppers may have very little extra in the way of tangible assets to contribute to the community as a whole.

When you move just beyond that first tier, there are five uncommon skills that will be needed by every post-disaster community.  These are skills that do not take a lot of money to learn and yet they will be extremely valuable and in high demand if the hell met the handbasket.  These are skills you may not have thought about, but important skills none-the-less.

Five Useful Survival Skills You May Not Have First Thought Of

1.  Entertainment

When the dust settles, and things get into a new normal, depending on the amount of destruction that has occurred, there will be a need for those who can help pass the time, especially in the evening hours when the usual electronic past-times are no longer available. This is a skill is something that is rarely, if ever, seen mentioned in being-prepared circles.  If in a world where there are no movies, no TV, no video games and no mall,  or any type of the normal ways of passing the time and staying pleasantly occupied during leisure periods will be a challenge.  The risk, if there is no entertainment, is that you will either work yourself to death because you are bored or you will become depressed due to the lack of imaginative stimulation.

Entertaining in a  world like this may include singing or playing the harmonica, guitar or Irish tin whistle.  It might also include teaching a group to line dance, play group games or even to play a rousing round of hand and foot.  Knowing how to entertain others and bring a bit of fun into their lives is a special trait that can be honed now and put into use over and over again, regardless of how bad things get.

2.  Cooking and Baking for a Community

When the pioneers and cowboys traveled across the country in their wagon trains and driving cattle, certain individuals were designated “Cookies”.  These individuals were tasked for hobbling together large style meals from whatever provisions happened to be available.

Community Cooks, or “Cookies” may also be sought after in a post-destruction scenario.  Depending on the size and cohesiveness of the group, certain daily tasks may be dispersed for the sake of efficiency,  it would be more useful to have a central kitchen then have several going at the same time, where communal meals are prepared, perhaps even outdoors over an open fire.

This goes doubly if there is limited kitchen pots, or utensils or space within the community. People need to eat and anyone who has the skill to cook and especially to bake for a crowd will find a welcome place in this community scenario.

3.  Sewing

Another household talent that seems underrated is putting thread to cloth. In a time where new clothing may be in short supply, material cloth may not be. When money is tight, sewing was a enviable skill to have. Clothes need to be worn until they are literally threadbare and even then, you can patch and mend the shirt or pants as much as possible, Usually done by hand, this skill has slowly gone away and hasn’t been taught in schools for a decade or so.

These domestic skills should not be limited to just the girls.  Everyone will have a need for a darn or a stitch, so little boys also need to be taught to sew, iron, hem, and darn.

In a scenario where new clothes and even bolts of fabric can be rare, if available at all, sewing skills will be needed to create new garments out of old.  There is an art to sewing a cuff, or an inseam. And with cloth material and even with leather, that talent is certainly needed. But most of all, clothes will need to be repurposed and made usable again.  And for that, someone with sewing skills will be invaluable to the community.

4.  Mentoring and Teaching

We will need to pass on to those who come after us the skills that will save them time, trouble, and tribulation to learn anew. This includes the basics that will go down for the daily chores needing to be done. But can also stretch to Blacksmithing or Boilermaking. Young people are going to need to learn the  Three R’s reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmatic. And don’t forget the sciences of botany, chemistry, biology and physics.  The school house once was at the main dinner table and will once again be so in post-catastrophe situations.

After the dust settles, there will not be traditional schools  as we know it to educate your children.  Instead, children and their parents will be on their own unless someone is willing to step up and teach them not only the basics but also how to solve problems and how to think critically when solving problems. There needs to be someone with the books, or the knowledge or the know-how to maintain and build up the society once again.

It will be one of the things that every parent will be looking to have help with and use for subjects out of their wheelhouse.

5.  Cutting Hair and Barbering

Now, as things are in flux, this may take a deep backseat in priorities to take care of. But once a new balance of relative normalcy is present, people are going to want to have this taken care of. And unless you are a fan of a bowl cut or looking like a medieval squire, there will need to be someone that can make things look more natural without doing a buzz cut for everyone.

How often do you get your hair cut?  Once a month? Every two months?  When there is no salon around the corner or worse, no money for a salon, the next best thing is a good set of shears and someone with a modicum of hair cutting knowledge.

There is certainly something about getting groomed and looking nice. I am not talking about a fancy hairdo and salon highlights.  I am talking about a nicely trimmed hairstyle, or a shave, that keeps hair out of my eyes and the chin clean.

Getting started in home barbering and haircutting, you need some barber shears and a trimmer.  And then it is all about practice after that.

The Overall TakeAway

It goes without being said that in a post disaster society that we will be building back from the destruction to the most basic of societal blocks. And once we have those handled there are a lot more than these five talents or skills that will be needed. These are only a few that can be readily undertaken now and into the future of the community. There are going to be the haves and the have-nots.  As a matter of fact, one of the fears that many of us have is that someone will come knocking on the door empty-handed and will ask or even demand to join your community.  This could be a family member or neighbor or even a stranger who has done little if anything to prepare themselves in spite of the many warning signs that are now showing.

Don’t be part of the problem, but be a part of the solution and even if you may not have the stomach to dress and quarter game, or know when to plant the carrots and beets. You will have something that you can contribute to the greater whole and be worth the food and space you take in the society.